tv Today NBC December 7, 2014 6:00am-7:01am PST
good morning. monster storms. typhoon hagupit roars across the philippines bringing heavy rains, powerful wind and storm surges. nearly a million forceed from their homes. we're there live. targeted? the ex-husband of an american murdered in dubai speaks out saying she was target add because she was a westerner. you'll hear from him in an exclusive interview. a christmas grinch. a woman caught at a tree farm. is she stealing wreaths? >> we've been decorating getting our greens ready. we noticed the bench was empty. >> how this farm owner and
police tracked down the alleged thief. welcome to new york. the dutch and duchess set to take the big apple by storm in their first trip to happen hat tan together. they're even leaving the baby at home. details on where they're going on "today" december 07, 2014. this is "today" with lester holt and erica hill live studio 1a. welcome to "today" on this sunday morning. i'm erica hill. >> i'm lester holt after long side shanel jones and dylan drier. we want to show you a live picture outside the carlisle here in new york. the british flag a waiting the arrival for the british royal couple. >> that's where they're staying. interestingly enough, dylan has brunch later today.
it's funny how that fell. >> a big day for them. looking forward to their visit. we're marking a somber anniversary december 7th, the 73rd anniversary of bombing of pearl harbor. the flag at half staff for this historic date. we want to start with the monster storm battering the philippine others. take a look. you can see how big it is at this moment. millions are in the typhoon's path. many have already left their homes wisely in search of higher, safer ground. we are in manila with the latest this morning. good morning. >> reporter: erica, good morning. this is expected to bring heavy rain and wind in this area. the region is bracing. other parts of the country now are being hammered. the monster typhoon slammed a
shore with wind speeds topping 130 miles per hour. small coastal towns were no match for this powerful storm. in the central philippines, trees are down, power is out, flood waters are rising. it's all destroyed, says this woman. she may never be able to rebuild. the planet's strongest storm this year, typhoon hagupit weakened when it landfall hitting the philippines with intensity of a category 3 hurricane. it showed little mercy of tacloban. last year typhoon haiyan left 7,000 dead here. today more damage and the fear more lives may have been lost. >> translator: where are we going to live now? we went to an evacuation center. if we can't use this tent, we have no place to live. >> with torrential rain, 15 foot storm surges and dangerous winds
this the forecast, 30 million people could be impacted by the typhoon. a million already evacuated. in manila, today they are praying and preparing, stock piling food as the violent storm moves their way promising to deliver more destruction to a country already reeling from so much damage. >> reporter: while this storm has slowed, it's been downgraded. that's bad news because rain could penetrate the soil and trigger landslides and severe tlooding. good news, there are no official reports of death. of course it's still early in the storm. erica? >> thanks. this morning we're learning new details about the fay add tempt to rescue american journalist luke somers in yemen. kristen is at the white house with more. good morning. >> reporter: lester, good morning. those that knew luke somers are
sharing his story this morning. his stepmother describes him as a talented photographer with sensitivity for people and people's lives. as the obama administration begins to assess the failed mission, one tells me the entire u.s. government is grieving this morning. >> friends and colleagues say luke somers was a passionate and dedicated journalist. today they're mourning the loss of the 33-year-old. >> it was devastating to hear that. he had a great amount of promise. he was beginning to tap that. >> somers was murdered by al qaeda when u.s. special forces tried to rescue him. >> this time they were unable to save luke. >> late last month the u.s. tried to rescue him. that initial mission failed. then this video appeared, somers pleading for his life. >> i'm certain my life is in danger. as i sit here now, i ask if
anything can be done, let pit be done. >> also in the video, somers captors threatened to execute him as early as yesterday. nbc news is told the president a proved the mission knowing the time was short and u.s. had intelligence on somers location. in the dark of night, u.s. seals landed with fighter bombers and drones circle ngs the skies bo. they soon reached the isolated cluster of buildings. u.s. officials say as the seals closed in on the building was somers was eld, the gun battle broik out. in the intense fire fight, seals killed six to nine cap tar tors. luke somers and pierre korkie were found shot by captors. both died of their wounds. colleagues are remembering a young man who sacrificed so much. >> luke is by far not the person
this >> he was a passionate, kind, thoughtful person. >> now, when asked if the white house had second thoughts about the mission, one official said the president still feels it was the right decision to try to rescue somers because the intelligence about his location was reliable. in a statement yesterday, president obama says the u.s. will spare no efforts to bring americans home safely wherever they are located. lester, back to you. >> all right. the ex-husband of an american teacher killed in dubai is speaking out this morning. his former wife was murdered in a mall bathroom and he believe shefses targeted because of her nationality. >> erica, this morning, this morning i'm told the woman arrested for this attack is herself originally from yemen, though there's no suggestion so far with any connection with al qaeda in that country.
meanwhile, the woman's ex-husband is trying to comfort his three children. >> paul ryan is keeping his children close, his 13-year-old and 11-year-old twin boys as details emerge of the horrific assault their mother suffered. police believe a female assailant disguise nd a robe lured her into a mall bathroom and repeatedly stabbed her simply because she was a american. the family wants her to remember she works with special needs kids. >> she would never hurt anybody ever. she had a doubly personality. always positive, optimistic about life. >> your ex-wife was targeted for no reason whatsoever other than she was an american. >> other than she was a werner,
i will say. this lady, i shouldn't even call her a lady, this monster of a person was lying in wait for her. someone like her to come along for an hour in the bathroom. unfortunately, it was my kids' mother. >> the twin boys were with her at the mall. they waited for an hour not knowing what had happened. >> they are coping. they are a very strong and they are very stoic family. it's going to take them a very, very long time to process this. >> police acted swiftly. a woman was arrested last week and the royal family here has promised to pay for the children's education, a country shocked by an apparently random attack on an innocent american mom. >> and paul ryan says he's kbraesed the way the united arab emirates here has stepped up to try to help the family. he says he is trying to keep his
children off the internet so they don't learn too many details of what their mother went through. >> i can't blame him for that. we will vuch more of his interview tomorrow on "today." we turn now to a violent night in california when protest evers got out of control. >> two police officers were injured after clashing with angry protesters in berkeley. police fire tear gas into the crowd. there were reports of businesses being looted and damage. this protest is one of several across the nation on saturday. >> nba derek rose of the chicago bulls showed his solidarity with the protesters wearing a black t-shirt that read i can't breathe.
a passenger was airlifted about a cruise ship taken to a nearby hospital in virginia. no word on her condition. north korea is praising hack attack on sonny pictures this morning. the company -- country says it's the righteous disease and it's in response to a an up coming comedy depicting a plot against north korea's leader. a grinch this christmas. a woman make off with hundreds of dollars of wreaths. it was posted on facebook and within hours the case was solved. >> without them, we probably would have taken a much longer time to identify the suspects if we were able to. >> the woman will not be arrested but will receive a
summons. it is an historic day in college football. in just a few hours, the four teams selected to play in the first ever playoffs for the national championship will be anoubsed. among them, alabama, florida state. among the members of the 12-person committee that will pick the final four teams, former secretary of state condoleezza rice. >> she's a huge football fan. a lot of fans have been waiting for this for some time. dylan is here with a check of the weather for us. good morning. >> good morning. we're going to start with that storm out in the philippines. hagupit is a weak category 2 typhoon with winds 98 miles per hour. you can see the size of it. it's 228 miles southeast of mani manila. it will down grade to a tropical
storm. we could see 6 to 12 inches of rain so flooding will be the main concern. locally we are looking at this rain from yesterday, moving on out. we've got a little bit of wintry weather, especially to the west of minneapolis and north of good morning. the next storm system to arrive. we have clouds building and even some showers eventually will make their return tonight. today will be a dry day. we have the cloud cover building. clear in the south bay for the time being with visibility reduced in the east bay. even in the north bay chilly with dense, thick fog. later on this afternoon temperatures warm back to the mid to upper 60s with showers arriving after midnight. >> that's your latest forecast. >> after another night of protests over two grand jury decisions not to indict police
officers, president obama will meet tomorrow with civil rights leaders and members of law enforcement to see what can be done to restore faith in the criminal justice system. e done to restore faith in the criminal justice system. chuck todd is moderator of meet the press. good morning to you. >> good morning lester. >> i want to have the latest comments from the president. he talked in an interview with black entertainment television, bet. here it is. >> when you deal with something as deeply rooted as racism or violence in any society, you've got to have individual lens but recognize it's going to take time. >> as upsetting as what happened in new york and ferguson, as upsetting as those cases were, there's no evidence those officers were racially motivated. what kind of careful line does the president walk here as he tries to deal with the racial issue? >> the fact of the matter is, and we're going to have new
information at the top of the show, there's just a dramatic difference in how whites and blacks view their treatment we the law enforcement community. there's a giant trust gap. yes, you know the president does walk this line. he's also very red sent criticizing law enforcement officials. they have a trust gap. it's one of the things i'm trying to tackle this morning. reforms he's thrown out there are cameras on cops. i think there's a bigger issue. we saw what happened to mr. garner. the bigger issue and trust gap is how the legal system works when it comes to prosecuting police officers that are charged with perhaps racial bias in how they treat an african-american suspect. >> let me turn to a political development that kind of continued overnight. runoff election in louisiana.
does this fundamentally change the political map of the south going forward? >> the map of the south has been changing a lot over the last two decades. on one hand the deep south is now -- i think you're seeing the the final states that hadn't fully flipped. louisiana, arkansas have now fully flipped. at the same time -- when everybody tries to paint an absolute picture here, that's it. democrats are done in the south. they seem to ignore there are other southern states things are getting more competitive. virginia, florida, georgia, north carolina. so it's still too different souths. pictures of the south. >> what are you working on for meet the press this morning? >> going to discuss the reform issue in the law enforcement community. i've got a couple of mayors, police officers, to discuss how do you rebuild trust? going to tackle the immigration. incoming governor of texas, the lead plaintiff in the suit against the president on
immigration. >> chuck, thanks very much. >> that's lester. on reality tv tonight, we see a man get eatening alive by a giant snake. has ♪ my mac is great, it's so delightful. ♪ ♪ so's my surface, ♪ it's just as powerful. ♪ you can write with a pen? ♪ you can say that again. ♪ i really like my surface pro 3. ♪ ♪ hey what's that, ♪ is it a kickstand? ♪ touchscreen too, ♪ it's pretty slick, man. ♪ it comes apart i see. ♪ it's got a usb. ♪ i think i like your surface pro 3. ♪ no seriously, where can i get one? we givecold symptoms.om your you give them the giggles. tylenol® cold helps relieve your worst cold and flu symptoms. but for everything we do, we know you do so much more. tylenol®
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move away quickly. not this guy. he decided he needed to get up close and personal with the snake. >> it's part of the discovery channel special called "eaten alive." it's got a lot of people questions if reality tv is pushing the envelope too much. here's gabe. >> a man in a carbon suit is eaten alive by a anaconda. paul told that he filmed the special to educate people about the destruction of amazon rain forest. >> i want to do something that's going to grab people's attention. >> he's grabbed peta's attention. the animal rights group says this sounds farfetched but if accurate, the snake was tortured for sake of ratings.
it's the latest to push the envelope. we've seen a jetliner crashed on purpose. a man free falls from the edge of space. and nick teetered on the oblivion over and over again. >> they have to keep pushing the envelope because viewers want something new and different to tune into. >> then the rest of the tv genre. the h 1 "dating naked." tlc "buying naked." and other shows trying to stand out in a sea of kardashian's real house wives and honey boo boos. >> while they may be fun, they're culturally toxic. this genre is traffic in deep manipulation. there's nothing real about reality tv. >> while he obviously made it out alive, paul isn't revealing
how much of his body ended up inside that snake. to find out, he says, you'll have to tune in. for today, gabe gutierrez, nbc news. >> can i have a moment here? eww. >> i'm gagging. >> people will watch. >> i feel bad for the snake. >> that's not entertainment. me and samuel l. jackson. remember that scene? up next on "today," a dance party featuring a little girl who will likely mak
like nobody is watching? one girl took that to heart. she captured our hearts in the process. dylan has more. >> this is the best video you'll see all day. for anyone that's been on the new york city flat form, let me paint this picture. people are on their phones, looking down, basically in their own worlds in the big rush. that sums up the platform. not this girl. she heard this grateful dead song of all things and started moving. everyone nearby had to start moving too. take a look. now this viral video has gotten more than 3.3 million views in just a couple weeks. an impromptu dance party is just a couple weeks. an impromptu dance party is something you don't
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over a million californians have a gotten something that's beend. out of reach for far too long. health insurance. how? they enrolled through covered california. it's the health insurance marketplace where you'll find a range of plans from leading health insurance companies that offer you the best combination of quality, rates and benefits. you can compare plans side by side, choose the one that best fits your needs and enroll online. coveredca.com is also the place to find certified experts in your area who can answer your questions for free, and help you enroll. and, through covered california, you may get financial help to pay for coverage. it's based on income, and 4 out of 5 people who have enrolled qualified. if you don't have a health plan, or you do, but you want to make sure it's the best plan for you, now's the time to visit coveredca.com. but to get covered, you gotta get going.
to have health insurance starting january 1st, you need to enroll by december 15th. visit coveredca.com today. thanks for joining us this sunday. i'm vicky nguyen alongside anthony slaughter. finally, a bit of clearing. >> yesterday afternoon was beautiful. i was down at christmas at the park and it was packed. lots of folks getting out. we have very thick fog. look at santa rosa down to a quarter of a mile visibility. in san francisco, 8 miles there. oakland, 6 miles. you get down into the south bay less than 5 miles visibility.
i think the fog will lower and we'll see visibilities go down. you'll see our next storm system sitting off the coast. cloud will increase as we head through the day. you can get some of the christmas lights up. as we head through the day today the clouds will increase and by tonight, i think we'll see our first showers in the north bay around sunset an after that everybody else will see the showers after midnight. >> wet weather ahead in the forecast. we have continuing coverage this morning out of berkeley after another night of violent protests. what began as peaceful demonstration quickly turned ugly. two protesters smashed store windows. demonstrators called for police accountability. at least three businesses have their windows shattered. some were spray painted and
looted. police say they deployed smoke and tear gas to disperse the clouds. now to a story you'll see only on nbc bay area. redwood city on saturday afternoon a teenager was on a skateboard and almost hit by a driver who lost control. the accident and the boy's reaction all caught on camera. thankfully, no one was hurt. witnesses say the driver was going extremely fast when she hit a curb and smashed into the tree. 14-year-old gabe said it's normal to have his camera on while skating because he likes to capture all his tricks. the mercedes was heading down a hill when the driver lost control. if teenager said he would have been hit if he didn't jump into the buses. drones may soon be taking over the skies in san jose. police in the community meeting to explain how they plan to use the drones that were given to
the department. the drone would be used only to evaluate and monitor emergency situations sump as an active shooter or hostage situation. the one-year test program is grounded until approved by the city council and the faa. coming up at 7:00, we're just a few hours from kick off. it's the battle of the bay. we will hear from the locker room and how police plan to keep the peace between the fans. that's plus all your top news stories and anthony slaughter back with weather at 7:00. hope to see you then. back to the today show.
we want to get you caught up on this morning's top headlines. our top story is typhoon hagupit battling the philippines. more than a million fled the area before the typhoon hit. there are more details about the failed rescue mission in yemen. navy seals were dropped two miles from where luke some percent was held. when they approached the area, a gun battle broke out. operatives holding him hostage killed somers. protests overnight when the protests over erice garner's death turned violence. and one man's efforts to help turn a failing school around into a place teach skpers students are proud to be part of.
>> looking forward to that. 18 days until christmas, you may be searching for the perfect gift for the foodie in your life. here's great ideas from wine to sweets to bacon. >> i did sampling too. they're tasty. >> and a little later, actress woodard is here to talk about her new show. we'll ask her how she feels about the big role girl power plays. we begin with a little more girl power. that involving the duchess of cambridge in orthotic. in a few hours t duke and duchess will arrive in the big apple. kate snow is over on manhattan's upper east side with the british flag flying in front of the c carlisle hotel. good morning. >> reporter: good morning erica. the flag is flying high. this is the carlisle where celebrities and royalty have stayed decades. it was a favorite of princess
diana. tonight her son william and his wife kate will start their new york trip right here. >> it's the most wonderful time of the year in new york city when visitors come from around the world to see the sights. tonight the duke and duchess of cambridge arriving in states for a whirlwind visit, first time in the big apple. >> we can expect a whistle stop festivity flash and quickly going about trying to raise money. >> nearly 30 years ago william's parents traveled to the u.s. together charming crowds, meeting president and mrs. reagan and taking one memorable spin on the dance floor. in later years, princess diana was a frequent visitor often staying at the luxurious carlisle hotel. now it's william and kate's turn to take mat hat tan. with the baby staying home, they'll be baby free for a few days.
don't expect them to sit back and enjoy the scenery like in the movies. the jam packed a ten rare. kate will tour a child care center in hard limitation of motion. the couple will attend a mets name where many are hoping real life and musical royalty will collide. like many visiting for the first time, the duke and duchess will visit the memorial. they'll also visit a honoring of their ala a matter. >> reporter: tonight they'll a attend a reception for americans who support their foundation. that's the group that gives money to charities they support. kate may be four months pregnant. this is a jam packed schedule. you'll never know she's
expecting. >> i think you're right. thanks. nbc royal expert that joins us this morning. nice to have you here. there's so much excitement. this schedule is jam packed. we know what they're doing almost every moment, yet there's the hope maybe we'll see the iconic moment. any chance for that? >> i think it's going to happen at the brooklyn mets game. we're having a music royalty visit at court side. who moes will kate and william shoot hoops with lebron? that would be a moment. it's representative of this era of royalty. they're modern. if they're there with beyonce and jay-z that would be a moment for photographers at least. >> one that would be loved in this country. we know they're with fund-raisers to support their charities tonight. what is the real purpose of this visit? why the u.s. and why now?
>> to raise money for the foundation. it's the season of good will toward men. that's one side of it. it's the nurturing of the special relationship. they know they've got a huge tolling in america. they're a brand and a successful one. they're trying to pay homage to that relationship we've had across the pond years and years. that does go back to diana days. kate is following in her footsteps going to visit a children's center in harlem. it's a great global audience. >> what do you think the queen is watching for sending them abroad? >> the queen wants the future of hierarchy to be sealed in this country. george is the next generation. he's not on this trip. it's a long way to come with a toddler in tow and christmas season. >> prince william is more of a modern dad. there are too royal duties.
we don't take our kids on business trips. we shouldn't be totally surprised. >> i think if they started bringing him to america, people at home might be upset. we haven't seen prince george since the christianing. i think this is kind of a baby moon for them. they're staying at the carlisle. they're doing important visits and engagements, of course the 9/11 memorial. it's time for rest for them. anyone with two children under two knows what they're about to have. >> indeed. we have dylan with a final check of the weather from the plaza. >> good morning erica. great cloud out here on the plaz sachlt i found seven sisters. where you from? >> canada. >> i'm from charlotte, north carolina. >> fantastic. let's look at the weather across the country where we have our
coldest temperatures up into canada up across parts of northern new england. it's in the single digits and lower teen this is afternoon. the rest of the country is qu t quiet. temperatures in the 50s and 60s out in the rockies and also looking at 70s in the southwest. we have a couple of scattered showers in texas today and also a little slippery through parts of the upper midwest. tomorrow it's going to spread to the chicago area, especially early on. then we'll see it move out and into southern illinois and indiana. we'll see mostly rain and a few spotty showers through the carolinas as well. in the good sunday morning to you. i'm anthony slaughter. visibility is very low on the north bay and tri-valley. san francisco, 8 miles out towards the tri-valley. that's where we have the dense fog right now. even in san jose starting to storm down to less than quarter
mile visibility. it will be foggy this morning. showers are set to arrive after midnight. today will be dry. >> did the selfie work? okay cool. that's your latest forecast. erica? >> sneaking in selfies is important. dylan, thanks. coming up next, holiday gift dylan, thanks. coming up next, holiday gift ideas you can actually o you could be at the corner of "i'm throwing away money" and "i had no idea." well, walgreens has your back. our expert pharmacists make it easy for you to save on your prescriptions. so you can keep your money where it belongs. swing by walgreens... ...where you could save even more with medicare prescription copays as low as zero dollars. at the corner of happy and healthy. that it's given me time toabout reflect on some of life'seen biggest questions.
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we're back on a sunday morning with holiday gift ideas that are easy to find and send whether shopping for the gourmet cook in your life or holiday dinner. you don't need to look far to find anything. elizabeth is today's lifestyle contribute tore. you've got great mail order things that we still have time to get them shipped to our christmas gift recipients. >> what's good about food, it goes overnight or second day. you know you're going to get it quickly. companies have to because many things are perishable. >> you've got a lot of stuff. let's start with bacon and sausages. >> who doesn't like pork, right? what i love about this company, for 62 years they've been taking local farm, local pigs nearby and smoking the meat. it's really great. this is one pack act. there's many gifts you can get. this is the camp box. it comes with bacon and ham. it's a tasting of their best
stuff. >> i heard of this. it sounds like a great idea. a collection of different barbecue sauces from the south. >> this is a chef who has a very famous restaurant in chicago. he's from north carolina. these are his collections of barbecue sauces. each representing a different region. >> the restaurant is lily k's. it's $60 for the big box. it's beautifully presented and $40 for the smaller box. for barbecue lover, send that their way. they can taste every region of the south. >> next, great ghost cookies. tell me about this. >> this is from south carolina. it's a woman that started this bakery called grey ghost. it's based on the legend grey ghost protects and warns of storms. she named the bakery after it. her cookeries are delicious. we love the chocolate. that's a trend with spicy and chocolate in food. it comes with a gift box for
$35. >> next molten chocolate, hot cakes. >> this is from a delicious bakery called hot cakes in seattle, washington. the little chocolate cakes come frozen in a little glass jar. you pop that in the oven 15 minutes. you have a hot chocolate cake. in one cake, there's a whole bar of chocolate. they make a delicious caramel sauce. it's called get your hot cakes.com. >> we've got cherries. >> these are cherries. i have to give credit to my friend. they search the best products anywhere. these cherries are used in the best restaurants throughout america, throughout the world. they're from france. they're delicious on ice cream. they're fantastic. >> then you get king bean coffee roasters. tell me what they're offering. >> king bean, the guy that
started this had been stationed in seattle 20 years ago with the navy. he was onto the whole coffee craze. he has these coffees. it's $32.99 for a box of three. it's delicious. for the coffee roaster, that's great. he's in south carolina too. we've got a lot of southerners. >> you've got wine and what else? >> this was started in california. he had worked at joseph phelps. you can get that. he does gift baskets. lastly, customized with pictures. you send them pictures and they send the gift box. it's great to send to grandparents. all kinds of fun stuff. >> super great ideas. thanks very much. great to have you on. just ahead, actress woodard great to have you on. just ahecheck outss woodard all these airline seats. lots of them, right? but when you try to get one by using your travel rewards card miles... those seats mysteriously vanish. why? all the flights you want are blacked out.
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picked up smallpox. i'm sure it's a malfunction. >> there's no malfunction. the source is real. you're not my only source. >> alfre woodard joins us this morning. it's a big deal to have the president in the studio. >> i'd have to be president after things you said. >> all well earned. there's a lot to celebrate. this is a great show i think especially for women to watch and see that these two powerful women -- you the president and catherine hiegle heading up the cia essentially. >> yes. >> what's it like to be part of that? must feel like girl power on steroids. >> probably if you're watching it, it feels that way. as actors, you're always defining the character. what's amazing about it is you actually see two people regardless of gender or anything
else about them, they're defined in position because they're the best at it. that's the cool thing. looking on, i'm sure women of every persuasion of every political sense and especially little girls are like oh, look at that. i think i want to be a cia analyst. >> one thing as i wonder. you're playing a president that's a woman, a african-american woman president. do people wanted to talk to you about politics more. you're not the president now. you're alfre woodard. do people want to talk to you about those things? >> people are after customed in talking to me about politics because i've been involved since i was 14. i love a been on the lovely hill there three and a half decades. so those are the conversations i like to have. i don't think anybody is going
to really say, alfre, make them stop. where's isis? >> last question i have for you, very quickly. i know you love "the voice." anybody in particular you're pulling for this season? >> i can't say. >> okay. >> i can't say, but i'll tell you what i love about "the voice." you have to be really gifted to be on. there's a lot of delusion of other shows when you first start off. you watch somebody grow every week. i think it's good for america because you see things happen. people want to be famous, robbing the 7/11, anything. they want your autograph. i think just even those short weeks, watching people grow with this input that you understand you have to work for things. i pull for it because it inspires me. >> great to have you here. maybe we'll see you next time at "the voice". >> thanks again. nice to have you with us.
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visit coveredca.com today. we're back with the inspierg story of the middle school principal trying to turn a failing middle school around. he's making a lot of people proud. shanel has that story. >> he said people thought he was crazy when he decided to take the job at if school. now not only are things looking up, the kids are so proud they made a fun video about it. the students at middle school 53 in queens is trying to live by a new motto. >> tell me what swagger stands for? >> students who achieve good
grades and earn respect. you should be a good student. in your future, you'll get pay very good job and career. >> good morning everyone. >> good morning. >> it's a belief inspired in large part by the principal who's fighting to turn around this once troubled school. >> my sisters came here. >> prior to his arrival in 2011 the city's board of ed had given the school an f. >> what's the word you use to describe the state of the school when you took over? >> chaos. >> the transformation started with a simple morning ritual greeting every student every morning. >> have a great day. >> tell me why you think it matters to have you here everyday. >> i think it's important to be consistent. sometimes school is the only place kids have instruction.
>> a presence you can feel in the now orderly hallway. each grade has its own floor. he split up classrooms by gender. >> you can see a the hallways when school is going on. doesn't seem like kids are in here. years ago it was completely rampart. >> numbers back it up as well. before he took over, there were 280 suspensions in a school of 500 kids. >> and is how many last year? >> 36 or 38. >> big difference. >> instead of putting emphasis on punishment, there are regards for good behavior. those bucks can be cashed in at the swagger store. >> when kids don't know how to read, we teach kids to read. when kids don't know how to behave, we suspend. it's important to teach behavior. >> the grade is closer to an a.
it's more than grades. >> education saves lives. i had an older brother one year older. education wasn't for him. if it wasn't for my focus on educati education, i wouldn't be standing here. >> a pretty cool principal as well. >> i have to tell you, i was pretty impressed with the school and kids. a lot come from challenging circumstances you saw there. they all come through metal detectors. he stands there and tries to off set that. i walked away thinking kudos to teachers. my mom is a teacher. if you go to school tomorrow morning, you matter. >> they're often undervalued. great. thank you. >> a reminder to tune in to "meet the press." chuck todd talking about efforts to reform police departments across the country. >> that's going to do it for us